Employee Retention Strategies



Retention Retention Strategy is the systematic effort to develop an environment that encourages and motivates employees to remain employed in the organization.

Some businesses realize how much employee turnover impacts their organization bottom line. It takes amount $7,000 - $14,000 to replace a typical employee in organisation. Replacing a key manager may costs the same as buying a new Honda. In the healthcare arena, it costs up to $185,000 to replace a critical care nurse. The question then arises, how can a business survive when the cost of turnover and recruitment runs into the millions of dollars each year?


Employee Retention Strategies

Employee Reward Program- You can make a provision of Monthly or Quarterly Award (depending upon the budget) for the best employee, Awarding 2 or 3 best workers each month. The award can be in terms of gifts or money.

Sensing the need to retain talent in a tough market, companies across sectors are tying the performance and fortunes of employees with their own, and are attracting mid to-senior-level employees with a substantial hike in variable pay in comparison to fixed pay, without taking a hit on immediate costs.

A successful reward and recognition program does not have to be complicated or expensive to be effective. Graham Weston, co-founder and CEO of Rackspace Managed Hosting, gives the keys to his BMW M3 convertible to his employees for a week. This creative way to reward employees has a bigger impact than cash. He says, "If you gave somebody a $200 bonus, it wouldn't mean very much. When someone gets to drive my car for a week, they never forget it."If it is money then it should be divided into two parts, first part to be given with the next month salary and the remaining after 6 months. In this way he/she can be retained for 6 more months. These rewards shall be considered at the time of appraisal.

Flexible working hours-

You have to realize the importance of having a work-life balance. You might be a workaholic who needs to work 24 hours a day, 7 daysa week for you to be productive, leaving little time for your personal life. While that might work for you, you cannot expect the same from your employees. If needed, you have to let them take some time off for a well-deserved vacation or other situations which needs a little understanding on your part. Do not begrudge your best employees of the time they need for themselves. This would help solve unease and stress in the workplace. 

Retaining working mothers to fight talent crunch works: Survey
A large section of women employees, especially working mothers, feel more engaged and productive in a supportive and flexible work environment says a survey conducted by TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. In view of HR managers, it is essential to have a focused strategy to engage and retain women employees to drive better productivity for the business, particularly in high-pressure industries such as IT/ITeS, where their attrition rate is much higher.

According to Natasha Singh, Head-Recruitment of Steria India, capturing post-motherhood talent can help IT/ITeS industry to fight looming talent crunch. Referring to her company's strategy, she mentioned, "We have created kids creche within our office complex at Noida and Pune centres, to take care of the infants, toddlers and school going kids of Steria mothers. The objective is to create a working environment where mothers can work peacefully with focus and stay stress-free relative to their kid's physical, emotional and psychological and hygiene related needs."

Timely Promotions:- Employee promotions given within time or given in-time after gaining certain experience or given without any delay, makes employee feel belongingness towards organisation. In many cases and in many reports  emphasised about  in-time promotions make positive influence on retention of employees in the organisation. Employee promotions plays a key role, especially in the public sector and government organisations. As a corrective measure to stop flow of resignations and for employee retention in Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in India planned for fast track promotions through performance appraisal of its employees. 

Timely increments:- 
Timely Increments in salary makes talented employees to stick to the organisation for long time. Many researches have found that the salary and increments were the core reasons behind leaving of employees to other organisations and competitor organisations attracts talent by showing sole monetary benefits, indeed most of the talent is getting attracted for this reason. It is universal fact and one has to accept that the monetary benefit is the core reason for an employee decision-making on retention in the organisation.

Employee Engagement -People may show up for work, but are they engaged and productive? People are more committed and engaged when they can contribute their ideas and suggestions. This gives them a sense of ownership.
The Sony Corporation is known for its ability to create and manufacture new and innovative products. In order to foster the exchange of ideas within departments, they sponsor an annual Idea Exposition. During the exposition, scientists and engineers display projects and ideas they are working on.Open only to Sony's employees, this process creates a healthy climate of innovation and engages all those who participate. 

TD Industries in Dallas, TX has a unique way of making its employees feel valued and involved. One wall within the company contains the photographs of all employees who have worked there more than five years. Their "equality" program goes beyond the typical slogans, posters, and HR policies. There are no reserved parking spaces or other perks just for executives -- everyone is an equal. This is one reason why TD Industries was listed by Fortune magazine as one of the "Top 100 Best Places to Work."


Career Development Program- Every individual is worried about his/her career. You can provide them conditional assistance for certain courses which are beneficial from your business point of view. Conditional assistance means the company will bear the expenses only if he/she gets an aggregate of certain percentage of marks. And entrance to that course should be on the basis of a Test and the number of seats to be limited. For getting admitted to such program, You can propose them to sign a bond with the company, like they cannot leave the company for 2 years or something after the successful completion of the course.

35% of women left former employee due to lack of opportunities for career progression: PwC report

A  report by PwC suggests that 35% of women respondents who had recently changed employers left their former employee cited lack of opportunities for career progression as the primary reason. PwC surveyed 4,792 professionals (3,934 women, 845 men) with recent experience of the jobs market from 70 countries to find out about their career aspirations and employer diversity experiences and expectations.

The report named – Winning the fight for female talent: How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment –looks at what employers can do to attract and retain female talent.

Female and male respondents ranked opportunities for career progression among the top three employer traits, along with competitive wages and flexible work arrangements. Female career starters and female millennials identified this as the most attractive employer trait, as did women overall in Brazil, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and the UAE, according to a release.

Organisations are using innovative programmes to attract key female talent, the release stated. For example, returnship programmes are proving to be a successful bridge for talented professionals to return to work after an extended career break. Over a quarter (28%) of employers have already adopted a formal returner programme, and a further 25% are currently exploring this opportunity, suggesting employers are recognising the potential of these programmes

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57533767.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst


Performance based Bonus- The employee always comes to know about the profit of the company which is of course based on the strategic planning of the top management and the productivity of the employee. To get more work out of the employee, You can make a provision of Bonus. By this employee will be able to relate himself with the company’s profit and hence will work hard. This bonus should be productivity based. You can make sure that this bonus is not adding extra-pressure on the budget of Your Company and you can arrange this by cutting a part of the salary hikes and presenting it to the employees in the form of bonus.

Employee Referral Plan- You can introduce Employee Referral Plan. This will reduce your cost (charges of external consultants and searching agencies) of hiring a new employee and up to an extent you can rely on this new resource. On every successful referral, employee can be given a referral bonus after 6 or 9 months of continuous working of the new employee as well as the existing employee. By this you can get a new employee at a reduced cost as well as are retaining the existing one for a longer period of time.

Loyalty Bonus- You can introduce a Loyalty Bonus Program in which you can reward your employee after a successful completion of a specified period of time. This can be in the form of Money or Position. This will encourage the fellow employees as well whether they are interested in money or position, they will feel fascinated.

Employee Recreation- You should also let your employees enjoy in a light mood. You can take your employees to a trip or for an outing every year or bi-yearly. You can make use of this trip as well. You can start this trip with an opening note about the management views and plans, strategies etc. At the same time you can involve your top management into some of the fun activities as this will make feel the employees that they are very close to the management and everybody is same.

Gifts at some Occasions-You can give some gifts at the time of one or two festivals to the employees making them feel good and understand that the management is concerned about them.

Accountability- You should make each employee accountable so that he can also feel that he is as important as his manager. If he/she will be filled with this sense, he/she will seldom think of leaving the company.


Making the management effective and easily accessible- You should make the management easily accessible so that the employee expectations can be clearly communicated to the top management, as it is impossible for the top management to reach each employee frequently.

Surveys for feedbacks from employee - You should conduct regular surveys for feedbacks from employee about their superiors as well as other issues like food, development plans and other suggestions. This will make them feel of their importance and the caring nature of the company. Some of the suggestions might be of real good use for the company.

Employee referral program- according to the recent survey it is found that employees within organisation feel motivated if references of them given importance while recruitment of employees. Employee referral program surprisingly raising employee retention level of organisation, which also became a human resource strategy for employee retention.

Facts [+]

Employee surveys valuable to enhance business productivity: Survey
Nearly 32% HR managers voted employee surveys as a useful tool to examine employee perception about the organization across levels in a survey conducted by TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. "An employee survey can be one of the most powerful tools for management in assessing the effectiveness of its strategy and maximizing the potential in its human capital", alleged Sakshi Khera, HR-Head, Da Milano.

HR managers are switching to employee surveys to address issues such as work location, gauge employee desire, and capture employee aspirations related to career. And, these surveys also help employers to understand what employee feels about the company's culture, practices, supervisor, development opportunities and working conditions.Any companies are including survey results on their "dashboard," recognizing how important employee perceptions are in making the company's vision a reality. When properly designed, implemented and analyzed, employee surveys help management take action to align operations with its strategy, values and goals, states Khera.

Apart from studying the effectiveness of the current measures, surveys help the management in understanding the internal image of the organization amongst employees. This helps the HR team to develop programs to change the employee perception if needed and frame policies that will address issues that arise out of the change.

During a Skills Dialogue session, a series of high powered panel discussions by TimesJobs.com, industry experts have pointed that employee surveys are beneficial for organizations to identify and bridge gaps in employee expectations from the company. It is apparent that businesses are progressively using the results from surveys of employee teams and business units as predictive tools for customer satisfaction and business performance. Results are used to make appropriate adjustments in leadership practices, training initiatives and business processes. It's simple, "if you don't take care of your employee's, somebody else will".


Different retention strategies adopted in corporate

Rekindle (Amazon)
Amazon has launched "rekindle", an initiative to encourage women on a professional break to resume their corporate career. As part of this initiative, the company will provide structured on-boarding, focused mentoring, flexible work options and on the job learning to the candidates.

rekindle aims to provide a launch pad to women who have had an extended absence from work in their career due to any circumstances and encourage them to come to Amazon and pursue their career goals.

This program is open to any candidate who has prior experience that matches the job requirements for the identified positions. The release further stated, "Candidates will go through a structured assessment process comprising of a telephonic interview and multiple in-person interviews. Basis the performance during these interviews, final hiring decision will be made for the position."


Zero attrition among maternity-leave women; P&G retains ‘returning’ mothers with unique solutions

NEW DELHI,2012: Procter & Gamble India has earned a unique distinction - for the third year in a row, it has reported zero attrition among returning mothers. The company has managed to retain all the women who went on maternity leave, a crucial talent pool, through sustained solutions.Only a few years ago, an alarmed business leadership was staring at the dwindling pipeline of woman talent in the company - up to 30% of women on maternity leave were not returning to work. The uncomfortable gaps were visible when women in late 20s got married and moved if the spouse was located in a different city or when they had their first child.

Lack of support system at the workplace and at home triggered the exodus. The solutions P&G came up with, were built around flexible timing, working from home, reduced work schedules, parental leave, six months' paid maternity leave and location-free roles, among others.

Maruti Suzuki, Indian car manufacturer uses stay interviews to keep flock together

Exit interviews, when employees quit, are common practice in many companies. But automobile major Maruti Suzuki India Ltd(MSIL) is using 'stay interviews' to cement a long-term tie with its employees. For the past three years, MSIL has regularly reached out to its employees to understand their aspirations, problems and expectations. It has subsequently come up with several changes in the performance ratings scale, career progression policy and employee referrals.

"It makes sense to probe employee minds while they are still working in the company and take their feedback for changes rather than asking for it after losing them to competition. Then you have the time to implement these," says SY Siddiqui, MSIL managing executive officer, administration (HR, finance, IT) (Dt.2012). Senior employees, from the post of DGM and above, are specially trained to conduct such interviews. The idea is to make candidates comfortable and draw their views in an informal conversation. Based on their feedback, the company has brought in several changes in its HR policies.



How employers can retain top talent ?

WASHINGTON POST: As the economy recovers, majority of employees will most likely look for better opportunities outside their firms, experts have warned. This critical situation demands employers to hold on to their top performers.

According to Joyce E. A. Russell, director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, most firms have depended on exit interviews to learn why their employees decide to leave as they seek acquiring honest information about the company that can be used to tackle the reasons why some leave.

But to do this, employers need to ask the right questions, the Washington Post reported. Mostly, exit interviews are poorly conducted by ill-trained individuals who are not really aware about why or how should they use the information they collect. Or, employees do not divulge the real reasons they are leaving the firm, as they are scared of burning bridges.
Companies like NetApp, Samsung, iGate, Aegis walk the extra mile to retain top talents



However, Russell has suggested that all firms including the smaller ones should make it a point to meet with employees before they give voluntary resignation. Russell suggested that while conducting an exit interview, the interviewer must ensure that the information is treated confidentially (i.e., using the date in aggregate form only and not revealing who made what comments).

Interviewers are required to be well trained in active listening and be sure not to go over the top to any venting done by the employee. Using structured questions, interviewers can enquire about topics like the work itself, pay and benefits, training and mentoring, performance reviews, career growth opportunities, management issues and the culture and environment.

Or they can make the employees complete a survey and mail it in after they have left.

Using an outside person can also be efficient in providing a neutral party that an employee may feel more comfortable openly talking with. Although exit interviews can give way to valuable information, they only offer a partial picture of how employees feel.

At a recent Society for Human Resource Management conference, presenter Dick Finnegan talked about using "stay interviews" to gather insights. He asserted that exit interviews are "autopsies that seldom lead to improvements."

Instead with stay interviews, managers allow employees to know they want them to stick around, and ask them what they can do to keep them at the firm. This sends a powerful signal to current employees that the employer values them and wants to meet their needs.

Another idea for keeping hold of top talent is for the company to reward its managers for holding onto their stars. This would persuade them to be more proactive about gathering feedback to find out how their employees feel about working at the firm.
6 Feb, 2012, The Economic Times, News paper